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Old 01-13-2014, 07:23 AM   #1
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97-98 TJ Fuel Filter?

My 97's fuel filter is gunked up and I need to replace it. Problem is that according to the Haynes and my mechanic, 97s and 98s have a filter that is inside the electronic pump mounted on (or inside?) the gas tank.

It looks like a short-lived ploy by Chrysler to make you take it into the dealer, but I'd still like to do it myself. My buddy has a lift and I'm no stranger to tough jobs.

Has anyone replaced their 97 or 98 fuel filler themselves? How hard was it/how long did it take/what tools did you need?

Alternatively, has anyone gotten theirs replaced at a dealer? Did it cost an arm and a leg?

Thanks.

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Old 01-13-2014, 07:29 AM   #2
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what makes you think it is clogged up? Yes they are inside the tank on our Jeeps, but they are not a big job to change. Just have to drop the tank and remove the fuel pump assembly. These very rarely need changing as the filter surface is so large!!

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Old 01-13-2014, 08:16 AM   #3
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On the same note of a fuel filter could that make it act like it low on power from time to time? I am leaning towards clogged cats but this has been on my mind too as a possible cause.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:18 AM   #4
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As for replacing the filter according to the shop just drop the tank pull the pump and replace the filter or sock if it has one.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:42 AM   #5
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A quick check of fuel pressure will usually tell you if your fuel pump (and filter) are functioning properly. There is normally a schrader valve on the fuel rail (looks like a tire air valve with a black cap on it), hookm up a fuel pressure test gauge and you should have 49 psi. If that checks good then you are good to go. Yes clogged cat(s) can cause issues normally associated with clogged fuel filters.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:13 AM   #6
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X2 on what makes you think the fuel filter is "gunked up"?

Many incorrectly attribute engine problems to the fuel filter where with the TJ, that is very rarely the case. The TJ's fuel filter has a positively huge surface area and and is considered to be a lifetime fuel filter. They designed the gas filter that way so it could be mounted on the fuel pump which extends down into the tank and likely never need changing. For at least those of us not running unfiltered third-world gasoline, that lifetime description of the fuel filter is entirely realistic.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:28 AM   #7
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Hadn't thought about a clogged cat. But it feels like a filter. I'll lose power in mid rpms on low gears sometimes. If I hold in the clutch and rev it usually clears up. My old Pontiac acted the exact same way when it was having filter problems. This baby has 150k miles on it and I can almost guarantee it's never gotten a new filter. So odds are I'll replace it anyway even if it is the cat for good measure.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
X2 on what makes you think the fuel filter is "gunked up"?

Many incorrectly attribute engine problems to the fuel filter where with the TJ, that is very rarely the case. The TJ's fuel filter has a positively huge surface area and and is considered to be a lifetime fuel filter. They designed the gas filter that way so it could be mounted on the fuel pump which extends down into the tank and likely never need changing. For at least those of us not running unfiltered third-world gasoline, that lifetime description of the fuel filter is entirely realistic.
Yeah, my Pontiac's was tiny, so that makes sense. I'll check the gage in the line and probably move onto the cat.

Will a standard psi gage work?
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetHerDirty View Post
Hadn't thought about a clogged cat. But it feels like a filter. I'll lose power in mid rpms on low gears sometimes. If I hold in the clutch and rev it usually clears up. My old Pontiac acted the exact same way when it was having filter problems. This baby has 150k miles on it and I can almost guarantee it's never gotten a new filter. So odds are I'll replace it anyway even if it is the cat for good measure.
I have 182,000 miles and still pumping a strong 49 psi!! It's your Jeep to do as you please, but I would look at the pump psi before I just replaced it if I were you.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:30 PM   #10
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My 97 ran sluggish for a while and I thought it was a bad fuel fill, but then I heard a popping under the hood and found some arcing plug wires. New plugs/wires and an inspection of the cap/rotor and it is purring again like it used to. Rule out the simple first...
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:47 PM   #11
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LATEST UPDATE:

Finally tested the fuel line and it read 49 at idle. My friend, who's worked on cars his whole life, said I needed to put a load on it to make sure, so I'd have to drive it around or something with the gauge hooked up.

However, last weekend I took Sally on some rough trails and ripped the exhaust in half a few feet behind the headers. So, with the cat technically disconnected, I noticed a slight power increase - but the problem is still there. It still acts strange at relatively low RPMs and sometimes misses at idle until I give it some gas.

There is a possibility that the missing at idle is caused by a bad reading from an O2 sensor since the exhaust is unhooked. Come to think of it, the entire thing could be a bad fuel mix caused by an O2.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Guidance? Thanks guys.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetHerDirty View Post
But it feels like a filter.
Once again, it's not the fuel filter.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:00 PM   #13
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I'm also going to replace the plugs and wires just for good measure.

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